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Caroline Duncombe Pelz

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BERLIN, N.Y. -- Caroline Duncombe Pelz, 88, of Berlin and Bennington Vt., a retired educational administrator, died of a stroke Thursday, June 28, 2007, at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.

She was born Dec. 20, 1918, raised in Briarcliff Manor and graduated from Briarcliff Manor High School in 1935, from The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, Calif., in 1936, and from Barnard College in New York City in 1940. Her parents, the late David Sanford Duncombe and Helena (Ebert) Duncombe, retired to Berlin in 1960.

Caroline married Edward J. Pelz of New York City in 1942. He was in the Navy from 1942 to 1945 but got home several times, so she had two daughters at the Brooklyn Naval Hospital during World War II, and two other children thereafter.

She was director of admissions at Grace Church School in New York City, and previously worked at Allen-Stevenson School and the Educational Records Bureau there. She was a trustee of Barnard College from 1963 to 1967 and president of its alumnae association. She was the recipient in 2005 of Barnard’s Lifetime Alumnae Service Recognition Award.

Caroline was active in the New York City and Taconic Valley branches of the Women’s National Farm and Garden Association, and volunteered at the Berlin Public Library. She was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Williamstown Mass., the Church of Our Saviour in New Lebanon, and the English Speaking Union.

Full-time residents of New York City until 1987, she and Ed have also been residents of the Taconic Valley for 50 years (part-time in Stephentown, N.Y., 1957 to 1987, and full-time thereafter in Berlin).

Survivors include her husband, Edward of Berlin and Bennington; daughters Cami Pelz Elbow of Amherst, Mass., and Patricia Pelz Hart of Aliso Viejo Calif.; son Sanford M. Pelz of New York City; five grandchildren, Abigail Elbow of Washington D.C., Daphne Hart of California, Ben Elbow of Alaska, Chris and Jon Pelz of New York City; and four nieces and nephews, Beth Butler of Nevada, Ted Duncombe of Pennsylvania, David Duncombe of Wisconsin and Peter Duncombe of Nevada. A daughter, Margaret L. Pelz, died in 1978.

A memorial service will be held Monday, July 23, at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Church, 35 Park St. in Williamstown, half a block north of Route 2, about a block east of the Williamstown Theater, with an informal reception afterwards. Burial of the ashes will be at 2 p.m. at the Berlin Community Cemetery on the west side of N.Y. Route 22, about one mile south of the Berlin blinker light.
Published in Bennington Banner on July 14, 2007
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